The worldwide Augustana College experience

What a Wonderful World

Greetings from Japan!!!  After a long and tiring 14 hour plane ride, we arrived in Osaka, Japan!  Plane seats were in alphabetical order so it was awesome because the first three last names that started with A got the exit row.  The three of us had so much leg room so our plane ride experience wasn’t as bad as some.  Every seat had its own TV which had games and individual movies that you could watch.  You could play games against anyone playing that game on the plane.  I won a game of tetris but lost a few games of battleship.  I also watched Alice in Wonderland and How to Train Your Dragon on the plane ride.  I couldn’t really fall asleep on the plane so I had to entertain myself somehow.  It was also nice because I had not seen those movies and had wanted to see them.  After we landed in Tokyo, we had to wait and transfer to another plane to Osaka.  That plane ride was only an hour and I slept the most time.

After arriving at the Shin-Osaka youth hostel I was so tired that I went straight to bed.  The next day we had class right away which was hard because I had wanted a little time to recover from the jet lag.  I’m only taking one class, Economics, out of two in Japan so it wasn’t that bad.  I like taking economics class so this class is pretty easy for me.  The weather was so brutal in Osaka.  Everyday is was around 90 degress and had a tons of humidity so I was sweating buckets everyday.  That’s the only really bad thing about this trip is the weather.  It had a lot of humidity and doesn’t rain much so we can’t get a break from the hot weather.

The fun part of this trip is relying on public transportation.  Japan relies mostly on public transportation and I’ve been on a train only about 10 times in my lifetime.  The train system is also very easy understand and easy to use once you have a little information about it.  You don’t have to pay more if you get lost.  You pay for the ticket for you destination and if you miss it you just get on a different train until you exit to your destination.

Most of my time in Japan has been spent either doing school work, shopping, or seeing the sites.  I rarely use the internet and I’ve come to realize how much I rely on it.  When I have a little down time, I have the urge to use a computer but I don’t have one.  I didn’t bring one because I didn’t want to waste my time on the internet when I could be seeing Japan.  But there are times when I am tired from seeing all the sites and I just want to curl up with a computer and surf the internet. 

There have been so many great sites that I have seen in Osaka.  We went to the Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping District which is a two mile long covered shopping center.  We also saw the Osaka Castle which had a lot of Japanese art and history inside.  It also had a beautiful view from the obersavtion level at the top.  We’ve also been to a couple different Buddhist shrines.  One was in Nara that we visited on our day trip and then one on the way to Kyoto.

The best part of this trip I think is the people of Japan.  They are so nice and welcoming.  We had a couple japanese people start talking to our group when we are just sitting in the lounge.  We would talk about each others cultures and what we liked to do.  For example, this one boy like Michael Jackson’s music a lot.  We would also talked about how schooling is different.  In Japan, students have to take exams to get into a particular school whereas we are just placed in the school we are closest to unless we go to a private school.

I love being here so much and I’m going to be so sad when it’s over!

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